Day 13. Freewriting. Thinking about perspectives and opinions. I’ve been out of the fog for a few months. The re-wiring process has been painful and rewarding. People say the best writing comes from pain. I’m writing to heal. I’m writing to overcome. I’m writing to build. I’m writing to finish my fortress. I have my building blocks and my words are the filler between the stones.
“Stop embarrassing yourself. I love you.”
Sometimes I think that I am a soldier. I’ve had so much experience in psychological warfare. Everything is a game. Which words to follow. When I feed your ego or when I’m your dumping ground?
These words are haunting me this morning. What does it mean? I know you love me in the only way you know how. I also know that you don’t mean to hurt me. The pain would stop if only I knew how to follow your rules. The rules change faster than the weather in Chicago. It’s a beautiful chaos but nearly impossible to predict.
You are right. Shedding a tear is embarrassing. Machines don’t have feelings. Having an opinion is embarrassing. Machines don’t have needs. Speaking up is embarrassing. Machines don’t know abuse. I’m not a person. I’m a machine. I’m a pawn in the game. I’m not following the rules. I’m being conditioned to behave in a certain way. I’m being told how to do it, when to do it and how to be grateful that someone who loves me has my best interest at heart.
I was clearing out my closet. I haven’t used anything in this room for nearly a decade. Going through my things is like visiting a museum. It’s like being in a different world. Things are familiar. The memories are overwhelming. I had an amazing childhood sprinkled with more experiences than things. The things I have are trophies from years of running, bracelets from coaches (earned from being a team player or accomplishing a goal), freezer bags of love letters and notes, pictures from school dances, and a special box of handcrafted gifts. These are my treasures. They bring me such joy and remind me of the love in the world. My world used to be filled with love. Lots of love.
After the divorce, I thought I had to make peace with leaving these things behind. I justified that it was a necessary part of letting go. I cannot move forward by holding onto things from the past. Even if the things were good memories. I need to be a big girl and grow the fu@k up. Women don’t have stuffed animals or keepsakes.’
You are in such a dark place that you throw your shit at everyone else. I’m your preferred target. You remind me of a history that I know nothing about. You claim that I threw tantrums when I didn’t get my way. The only memory I have crying was when a pelican bit my finger and stole my sandwich. You came to my rescue of course. I was your princess. Tantrums, that was a different child. In second grade, I had to write a 2-page report on the difference between WANT vs NEED in order to get my ears pierced. Emotions were not allowed, it was information based. Fix the argument, build the case, and negotiate your desires. That’s what I remember. When I was getting my driver’s license, I had to fulfill the Corvo requirements in addition to the state requirements. This included 3x more behind the wheel time, towing a boat (to learn drag), fishtailing (to learn the difference between front and rear wheel drive), driving on ice (gaining control and how to NOT break the axis)… among many other things. Never a tantrum. Everything was a learning experience and we were held to higher standards. I’m so incredibly grateful for these lessons. I’m a hardworking, pragmatic, and super achiever because of it. Tantrums, that’s a re-writing of history.
When you re-write history, it’s not to make me feel crazy. I know that. It’s because you feel like you failed in some way and you want me to reinforce that you are magical. I don’t know what’s happening in your life so anticipating these things have become more challenging over the years. I was your favorite dumping ground most likely because I took it with minimal pushback. My tolerance levels for certain things are simply ridiculous.
“Stop embarrassing yourself. I love you.”
Words to train. Words to control. Words to remind me that anything coming out of your mouth is for my own good. I’m out of the fog and see that clear as day. I wish my head and my heart were on the same page. My heart still wants to fix something. The question is what needs to be fixed? What happens when there is only one person trying to do the fixing?
Crying is a sign of weakness. There is no crying. It’s not appropriate in any situation. “Put your big girl panties on” “Fix your face” “Don’t embarrass me” “Stop embarrassing yourself” and then my favorite was when we took trips to The Projects. These lessons were in perspective and gratitude. Not following the rules would lead me to become a crack whore and be grateful for the life I have because it could always be worse. Always.
My emotional muscle is getting stronger. I can [sometimes] let the tears fall without being embarrassed. I’m not a machine. I’m human. I’m tired of being controlled authentic in public. It’s acceptable to ignore certain things and just focus on others. This is good for achieving stretch goals but terrible for day-to-day. Yesterday, I was out for lunch with a dear friend. This friend knows the pain in my heart from my words but didn’t see the pain in my eyes until yesterday. Even though, I knew the situation was uncomfortable. I’m the girl that always has a positive spin on everything. I’m not allowed to cry. My life is perfect. Nothing difficult has ever happened to me. Pain is something that I’ve read about in books, not experienced personally… at least that’s what you thought. I know pain, intimately. Most of the time, I suppress my pain but I know it better than any other emotion in my toolbox. Pain and defiance were my driving force for things before I knew what they were.
Sitting at lunch. I go on a tangent about critics and liars. Someone was trying to court me but they made the grave mistake of criticising me on family. I accept they are not woke. I accept that they come from privilege. I accept that they live in a bubble. I will not accept their lack of awareness or compassion in my world. I’m no longer allowing the critics into my space. Critics are necessary for growth but there are different levels of critics. There are critics that will expose a blind spot. Critics that will help strengthen an idea. Critics that will make something better. Then there are the critics that just want to throw their beliefs into my process. No thank you. Wait, I just made the subtle shift from disappointed to anger. I’m desperately searching for that trigger. Find the freaking trigger. Breathe. I need to get something off my chest. I get flooded with emotions, mainly BETRAYAL.
I’m reminded that I suck at setting boundaries. Or is it my learned behavior of what to tolerate from others? I had a ‘friend’ support me through a break-up. He treated me to a night out and made a crude comment at the end of the evening. I agonized over this comment for a few weeks and decided to bury it. It wasn’t intentional. I’m just being sensitive. A few years later, we are still friends, actually closer friends as much as anyone can define close when it comes to me. Controlled authentic. I’m working on more understanding, less control. This friendship had clear patterns, he was allowed to talk about girlfriends but I couldn’t talk about guys. He never tried to properly date me. There was never a ‘Jess, let me take you for dinner’. Confessing feelings was in terms of “my mom hates you because she thinks you would shatter my heart”. Well considering my low self-esteem, I don’t take that as him being in love with me but rather than I bring nothing but heartache to those I allow into my world. There was a point where this friend was going to marry his sweetheart. He didn’t propose but I wanted to know where I stood in the friendship. I’m OK either way, I just need to know the rules. I ask if I’m invited to the wedding. He said no because his sweetheart doesn’t like me. That’s absurd. I’ve never met the girl, how could she not like me? For him, that’s his way of declaring his love for me that no other girl could ever have his heart. No one holds a candle to me. How I interpret his words… our friendship is conditional. He’s only hanging around if we marry. If I end up with someone else or he ends up with someone else, then we cannot be friends. If that’s the case then I guess it’s time to accept reality and we are not friends. Again, I’m embarrassing myself. I’ve just created a situation. I should be grateful for the friendship and accept being discarded when I’m no longer of use. Betrayal.
My tangent continues over lunch. We have just ordered food. Faster than a google search, the word BETRAYAL in my mind comes up with pages of people, my heart hurts and I just want to cry. It’s not over this specific friendship. It’s looking at the big picture. It’s all the people that I feel have betrayed me. It’s not anger. It’s just raw pain. Hurt. The tears well up and I apologize for letting a few slip. I break the tension by declaring that at least I’m a pretty crier.
People I allow into my world are not friends or lovers. They are given a piece of my heart. That’s bigger than giving my body but I’m slowly understanding that some people have zero interest in my heart, they just want my body. I have to build that muscle to decipher the difference.
It’s not today or this week but the day will come when I stop apologizing for being human. I’m allowed to have tears of joy and tears of sorry. Both have offered some pretty amazing experiences that have formed me. Soon, I’ll stop apologizing for mourning a friendship or reliving a pain. Soon, I’ll stop worrying about the opinions of others and just thank whatever version of me that showed up that day. It’s part of being uncontrollably authentic. If something hurts, then let it out.
I appreciate when people tell me that I’m intense. It supports that I’m progressing on embracing ALL emotions (not just the happy ones). I never embarrass myself. I’m learning to care less if I embarrass you.
Emotions are beautiful. Shedding a few tears doesn’t harm anyone so why keep them in?
#WhyIWrite #Nanawrimo #MentalWellness #BeMode #Betrayal #Pain #Abuse #Narcissism #Healing #Rewiring #Reprogramming